BATMAN the Sunday Classics 1943-46 (review)

by VJ Miller, Sr.

Batman the Sunday Classics:

Batman the Sunday Classics was originally compiled and designed by Kitchen Sink Press, Inc.. for DC Comics, and co-published by DC Comics and Kitchen Sink Press in 1990. Other Batman the Sunday Classics 1943-1946editions followed with slightly different covers; mine was published by Sterling Publishing, Inc. by arrangement with DC Comics. Cover art by Dick Sprang.

Every effort was given to identify everyone involved with the strips and if anyone was left out or misidentified the publisher expresses their regrets. This was an era when only the creator of a strip or comic book was given any credit at all. It would be many years before letters to the editor were included and readers would ask who wrote, drew, or inked the pages of their favorite book or strip.

Many writers and artists were employed in the making of these classics; some even doing both tasks; they are:

  • Jack Burney
  • Don Cameron
  • Whit Ellsworth
  • Bill Finger
  • Bob Kane
  • Stan Kaye
  • Win Mortimer
  • Charles Paris
  • Ray Perry
  • Fred Ray
  • Jerry Robinson
  • Jack Schiff
  • Ira Schnapp
  • Alvin Schwartz
  • Dick Sprang

In the Beginning:

Bill Finger was selling shoes when he met cartoonist, Bob Kane at a party in 1938. They collaborated on many adventure strips. Within a year, Batman appeared in Detective Comics #27 and 28. Finger wrote those first two adventures in Detective Comics. Kane is credited with being the creator of Batman, but it has been inferred many times that Finger was actually a co-creator. Any truth in the matter is lost to the mists of history.

The book starts out with a synopsis of each storyline plus who is credited as either, the writer, penciler, and inker of each. Following that is a biography of the afore mentioned writers and artists. Many of the artists and writers did work for most of the publishing houses of the day; places like: Charleton, King Features, Harvey, Timely (Marvel), DC and others. Whit Ellsworth was the DC contact with Fleisher Studios that did the Superman animations in the forties and he also Worked on the Adventures of Superman  TV show in the fifties.

Various outlets:

Batman Newspaper Ad
One of many Newspaper ads announcing the start of the Batman strip

There are recreations of promotional pieces that were run in daily newspapers to promote the coming of Batman & Robin as a recurring strip in each publication. Alas, my local papers in New Jersey did not run the strips and I had no knowledge of them until I was well into adulthood.

Much of the Batman & Robin’s general history appears in the dailies, many unique points appear in the Sunday strips.

Batman the Sunday Classics have been lovingly redone in more brilliant colors with subtle flesh tones and other gradations.

The Batman & Robin of this era spent much of their crusading time catching mere crooks by solving strange clues rather than the super crooks and alien threats of today. These were fun stories and had some humor and whimsy to their makeup. There were mysteries, and other crimes that had to be solved in Batman’s own special way because crooks are a superstitious cowardly lot.

Before the book closes it gives some hint as to what was to follow with short strips from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s

The book is Hard Bound and is 9¼ X 12¼ inches

Five Stars
Other Hero Comic Reviews by VJ Miller, Sr.

©Copyright Realms Uncharted and VJ Miller, Sr. 2015

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